In great demand even after 70 years: DWD relies on OTT HydroMet reference sensors

At an age when people usually enjoy retirement, the German Weather Service (DWD) is more in demand and more important than ever. Heavy rain and floods, droughts and crop failures, forest fires and air pollution – extreme weather events that we often used to know only from history lessons or foreign news reports are now hitting Germany and its Central European neighbors at ever shorter intervals.

To better understand these phenomena and, ideally, to be able to predict them, a strong and broad-based national meteorological service in cooperation with international partners from science and industry is essential, sometimes even vital.

Highly specialized observatories

When the DWD was founded in 1952, the annual mean temperature in Germany was 7.9 °C. Since then, it has risen by around two degrees. Since then, it has risen by around two degrees, and since 2014 it has even been in the double digits four times. Most climate scientists agree that global warming is related to the altered composition of the atmosphere due to human influences. The data needed for this important research is provided by highly specialized facilities – such as the Lindenberg Meteorological Observatory (MOL-RAO).

Since 1905, and thus much longer than the DWD itself, the MOL-RAO has existed at its location southeast of Berlin. The treasure trove of data on the vertical profiles of atmospheric parameters (such as temperature, humidity, and wind) collected continuously over 117 years is of outstanding value to scientists. Over time, new measurement techniques and technologies have emerged, but the core task of the observatory remains the vertical sounding of the atmosphere. The MOL-RAO exemplifies the high scientific standards of the German Weather Service. To sustainably meet this demand, the DWD carefully maintains, supplements, and renews its measurement network on an ongoing basis.

Companion and partner

As one of the world’s leading developers and manufacturers of environmental monitoring technology, OTT HydroMet has been a companion and close partner of the DWD for decades. OTT HydroMet’s portfolio includes sensors from its brands Kipp & Zonen, Lufft, and OTT – many of which are considered the reference in their respective fields of application. Just three examples of many: The world-class Kipp & Zonen CMP22 pyranometer, for example, is the standard for measuring global solar radiation in ground measurement networks. The Lufft Ventus ultrasonic wind meter defies saltwater and other challenges on the high seas. About 100 ceilometers for each of the Lufft CHM15k and CHM8k types are in use in DWD networks.

At the MOL-RAO, instruments from OTT HydroMet make up a significant part of the “Lindenberg Column”, as the DWD calls its sophisticated combination of ground observations, aerological measurements, and active and passive remote sensing methods. In addition to pyranometers, pyrgeometers, and sun trackers of the Kipp & Zonen brand, the Lindenberg researchers also use several generations of the Brewer Spectrophotometer, the reference sensor for measurements of ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and UV spectra in the atmosphere.

OTT HydroMet extends its sincere congratulations on 70 years of DWD and looks forward to continued collaboration to observe, understand and meet the climatic challenges of the coming decades. If you want to learn more about the close partnership between OTT HydroMet and the DWD as well as many other National Weather Services and research institutes around the world, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our experts will be happy to get in touch with you.

Further reading

  • OTT HydroMet Meteorological Portfolio – OTT HydroMet provides a comprehensive portfolio of environmental monitoring solutions based on world-class instruments of its brands Kipp & Zonen, Lufft, and OTT. Discover our proven sensors used by world-renowned meteorological services and research institutes.
  • Meteorology Webinar Library – Sharing knowledge has never been so easy as today. But finding the information you look for might be a challenge. In our Webinar Library, we share a selection of useful webinars that include topics as Ceilometers, Snow Depth Measurement, Road Weather Systems, and others.

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